ICSAN Conference Recommends Fuel Subsidy Discontinuation Over Debt Burden. - Mc Ebisco ICSAN Conference Recommends Fuel Subsidy Discontinuation Over Debt Burden. - Mc Ebisco
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ICSAN Conference Recommends Fuel Subsidy Discontinuation Over Debt Burden.

In order to avert debt crisis and ensure Nigeria’s debt sustainability, there is need for the discontinuation of Fuel subsidy, suspension of salary increases for government agencies, address pipeline vandalism and oil theft by reintegration of the war against pipeline vandals and crude oil thieves by Security agencies among other measures.

This is because the public debt burden has resulted in the increasing debt service, lower fiscal fiscal space for development spending, incomplete capital projects and constraint in the provisions of goods social amenities.

This is according to Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, who spoke at the forty-sixth Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, ICSAN, Annual Conference in Lagos, themed: ‘The National Debt Burden: Causes, effects and realistic economic solutions.

Akabueze said to address the challenge and to relieve the concern on the rising debt and debt service, it is important to ensure that public debt is sustainable and for this to be, urgent decisive measures are required in order to avert public debt crisis and the steps are critically around enhancing revenue and then improving expenditure and blocking leakages.

In his words, the critical steps include the implementation of the relevant recommendations and discontinuation of the PMS subsidy by the end of June next year as announced or earlier date.

He said the suspension of new salary increases for government agencies and addressing the issues of pipeline vandalism and reduce oil theft through the reintegration of the war against pipeline vandalism and oil theft by security agencies.

The burden of public debt, according to Akabueze, has increased debt servicing obligations, reduced the amount of money available for development spending, halted capital projects, and restricted the ability to provide social amenities.

In his welcome address, ICSAN President and Council Chairman, Taiwo Owokalade, noted that the country has not only amassed huge amounts of debt but has kept borrowing at a fast rate, thus struggling to service the interest on the debt.

He explained that incurring debt is not by itself a negative development, but the size of the debt against the national income, as well the nature of the projects to which the loans are applied were the pertinent issues for serious consideration.

According to him, the country has accumulated significant debt and has continued to borrow at a rapid rate, making it difficult to pay the interest on the loan.

He clarified that while taking debt is not in and of itself a bad thing, it is important to take into serious consideration the level of the debt relative to the country’s gross domestic product and the types of projects to which the loans are applied.

The nation seems to be progressively getting deeper and deeper into the debt quagmire amidst the clamour of many concerned stakeholders that trend should be arrested.

According to a report from the Debt Management office, the Government Debt in Nigeria has increased to 100069.89 USD Million in the first quarter of 2022 from 95779.64 USD Million in the fourth quarter of 2021. This is against the background of the weakening power of the Naira.

Thus, at present, Nigeria is struggling to service the interest on debt, not to talk of repayment of the principal. With this kind of grim statistics portraying such huge fiscal deficits, there is no gainsaying the fact that matter has really come to a head.
While it is remarkable that incurring debit is not by itself a negative development, the size of the debt vis-à-vis the national income, cum the nature of the projects to which the obtained loans are applied constitute the pertinent issues for serious consideration.
Many stakeholders are very concerned because our current debt profile prognosticates an inauspicious omen for national progress, development and sustainability. We cannot talk of national sustainability if we cannot survive except by taxing the resources that should be available for the future.
The pertinent questions now are “Is the borrowing spree sustainable?” “how do we break free from this debilitating burden of debt?” “What governance model can we adopt to soar above this debt trap and still manage to procure growth and development? One can go on and on with these type of questions which revolve around the perplexing debt conundrum.
One good thing, as suggested by the theme itself, is that we are not only here to identify the roots and causes of the problem, we are even much more committed to distill from our discourse and brainstorming today practicable solutions which we can offer to our numerous stakeholders in forms of recommendations.
Going by the faculty assembled here by the Institute to engage our theme as well as the three equally apt and important subthemes, I am quite expectant and to state that the quality of recommendations that will be spawned by our intellectual engagements today will be high, peerless and pragmatic enough to address the problem.
I will not dwell too much on the theme knowing fully well that task has been assigned to competent assigned to competent authorities and respected voices on governance matter who are as the resource persons.
I have no doubt in my mind that in the course of our discourse today we are going to find good answers to some of the questions I raise above in the patriotic quest to assist our nation and move her forward.
I will stop here on the theme in order not to usurp the role of our distinguished Speakers and Discussants who are than capable to do justice to their assigned main themes and subthemes.
Please let us make this forum interactive by asking questions, making observations and commentaries at the allotted time.
We will expect those participating virtually to also contribute by putting their questions and observations into the chat box. We promise to take as many of them as time would permit us.
For those physically present, please don’t forget that this Forum also offers opportunity to network and I will enjoin you all to exploit this benefit to the fullest.
We will circulate recommendations made at this forum in a communique to be issued at the end of the Conference to all the relevant stakeholders, including corporate organisations, regulatory agencies and policy makers and publish it in some national dailies.
To him, the nation seems to be progressively getting deeper and deeper into the debt quagmire amidst the clamour of many concerned stakeholders that trend should be arrested.
According to a report from the Debt Management office, the Government Debt in Nigeria has increased to 100069.89 USD Million in the first quarter of 2022 from 95779.64 USD Million in the fourth quarter of 2021. This is against the background of the weakening power of the Naira.
Thus, at present, Nigeria is struggling to service the interest on debt, not to talk of repayment of the principal. With this kind of grim statistics portraying such huge fiscal deficits, there is no gainsaying the fact that matter has really come to a head.
While it is remarkable that incurring debit is not by itself a negative development, the size of the debt vis-à-vis the national income, cum the nature of the projects to which the obtained loans are applied constitute the pertinent issues for serious consideration.
Many stakeholders are very concerned because our current debt profile prognosticates an inauspicious omen for national progress, development and sustainability. We cannot talk of national sustainability if we cannot survive except by taxing the resources that should be available for the future.
The pertinent questions now are “Is the borrowing spree sustainable?” “how do we break free from this debilitating burden of debt?” “What governance model can we adopt to soar above this debt trap and still manage to procure growth and development? One can go on and on with these type of questions which revolve around the perplexing debt conundrum.
One good thing, as suggested by the theme itself, is that we are not only here to identify the roots and causes of the problem, we are even much more committed to distill from our discourse and brainstorming today practicable solutions which we can offer to our numerous stakeholders in forms of recommendations.
Going by the faculty assembled here by the Institute to engage our theme as well as the three equally apt and important subthemes, I am quite expectant and to state that the quality of recommendations that will be spawned by our intellectual engagements today will be high, peerless and pragmatic enough to address the problem.
I will not dwell too much on the theme knowing fully well that task has been assigned to competent assigned to competent authorities and respected voices on governance matter who are as the resource persons.
I have no doubt in my mind that in the course of our discourse today we are going to find good answers to some of the questions I raise above in the patriotic quest to assist our nation and move her forward.
I will stop here on the theme in order not to usurp the role of our distinguished Speakers and Discussants who are than capable to do justice to their assigned main themes and subthemes.
Please let us make this forum interactive by asking questions, making observations and commentaries at the allotted time.
We will expect those participating virtually to also contribute by putting their questions and observations into the chat box. We promise to take as many of them as time would permit us.
For those physically present, please don’t forget that this Forum also offers opportunity to network and I will enjoin you all to exploit this benefit to the fullest.

We will circulate recommendations made at this forum in a communique to be issued at the end of the Conference to all the relevant stakeholders, including corporate organisations, regulatory agencies and policy makers and publish it in some national dailies.

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